Letters to Tom — Oregon

Dear Tom,

Great minds were thinking alike this weekend. First I read a short story by Brian Doyle who lives in Portland where he edits the Portland Magazine. He is the author of nine books of essays, nonfiction, and “proems,” including The Grail: A Year Ambling and Shambling through an Oregon Vineyard in Pursuit of the Best Pinot Noir in the Whole Wild World. Both the The Post and NY Times ran articles about Oregon beaches and vacations. My mind and heart leapt with the memories of our trip to visit you and casey a couple of years ago. First, I don’t know why it took Brian Doyle a year. We did it in a day. Second, I recall our walks on the beach — the sun was usually out as we began, then the chill rolled in and we couldn’t see a thing, and then the skies would part and the sun returnned. All this in less than 30 minutes so we learned to walk and talk and enjoy the vista of the sky changing much like the surf rolling in and out. The food, the majestic mountain views, and the sensory overload emanating from the fresh air, flora, and greenery unique to the Pacific Northwest is forever etched in my memory.

Then I thought of your Sufi wisdom: “We attract that which we put out. So if we choose fear, we will attract more fearful experiences. Stress, resignation, hopelessness…. attract the same. On the other hand, if we put out love, hope, abundance, that’s what comes back.”

What you say hits home. Our trip to Oregon was memorable because of the scenery and unique experiences we had, but what made it so very special was the love and joy we received from Casey and you every day we were there. So now any mention of Oregon draws up from my soul memories of our visit and the reflection of love we basked in that week. It will remain with me forever.

In my recovery from surgery it is that same attitude that you expressed in your e-mail that enables me to be so at ease. I try not to be fearful or stress about the future because it accomplishes nothing, and it only leads to a snowballing landslide of negative emotions. Instead, I remind myself of the abundant love and hope that I have received from Suzy, my family and friends. Their positive energy heals, sustains, and comforts me. I draw on those emotions and it is reflected in my feeling excited, energized, and at peace. My hope is that I can reflect this love to others. I believe that being a reflector of love is a part of God’s call for each of us.

Your Friend,


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Ahhh, now I want to go back to the Oregon coast…it is so wonderful there. Thank you for presenting such a beautiful vision of God’s beauty in the Northwest!


  2. I love the idea of being a “reflector” of God’s love, Dad. I am not a science whiz, but when I think of reflectors, I think of two things: a way to transmit light to other places, but also, mirrors. When you are a reflector of God’s love, you send his love to others, but also, back to yourself.

    Thanks for writing.

  3. I agree with Caroline. The Sufis speak about the heart as a mirror… a reflector! Some of their meditations have to do with “polishing the mirror”, which helps us “see our real face, the face of eternity,” as well as enabling the heart to “accept and embrace the many paradoxes, misunderstandings, and hardships of life, as well as to enjoy more fully its beautiful variety.” (From the Sufi Book of Life)

    Thank you Webb!

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